Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Musical Arists of the Decade Part 4

Jack White

I will admit at the outset, I have listened to Mr. White's music the least of these four artists I've included in this list, but he has defined rawk music this decade as much as anyone (I know that another failing of my list it's very (indie-)rock-centric, but jazz is dead and Wyton Marsalis killed it). On the same night Maryland won our long long awaited NCAA Basketball Title, White Stripes were playing their first headlining show at the 9:30 Club. White hasn't slowed down since then. There have been White Stripes albums, which the duo still record on the quick in a matter of weeks. Then there there are two albums by The Raconteurs his more collaborative band, and whose albums have bee well received. And most recently The Dead Weather, where he has ceded most of the vocal duties, but which maintained the bluesy spirit of his other work. I think the lesson to take away from these multiplying projects is that he's at his best when he's most in control, and we'll see if that's the case when the next White Stripes album comes out early in the next decade.

Beyond the retro sound of his work, there's also a bold uniqueness to the way White approaches all things.
Most notably the red and white (and sometimes black) clothing. Plus there's the subterfuge of his relationship with Meg, and the obsession with the number 3. It ads a bit of the spice that a band like, say, The Shins lack. There's nothing wrong with going all Pavement-y with your bands aesthetic, but it's nice that there are still folks around like Jack White who add that extra spice.


Jason Heat said...

I really enjoyed this series.

Jstone said...

don't forget his work with Loretta Lynn!

ali d said...

I already liked Jack White, but I really love Loretta, and the fact that White added legitimacy to her music in an age that typically thinks all country music from before 1992 is whiny twang really impressed me. He also has some great songs on the Cold Mountain soundtrack. Being able to cross genres and improve whatever new project you come across is a rare trait that deserves the props Max gave it. Well done.

Max Nova said...

Agreed Ali. White, like elvis costello, seems first and foremost to be a music lover regardless of genre.

Also, i'll take the old country music please. Hank and Patsy ndAnd George jones.